Monday, February 20, 2006

Kiss Me Guido

I had an identity crisis over the weekend. My boyfriend and I had plans to meet a friend at Spy bar. I had never heard of this place and probably for good reason. Not that I’m a snob when it comes to watering holes but there are 2 categories that I consider a good time– the ultra trendy club where the DJ is guaranteed to be good or the ultra dirty dive bar where the jukebox is guaranteed to play as much G & R as I like- and nothing in between. There is nothing worse than a place trying to be cool when it’s not.

Cue Spy bar. We arrive outside to find bouncers and a velvet rope. Great. Where are we again? Clearly not waiting on any line, I approach a 17 year old girl clutching a coffee cup (amateur) and clipboard.

“Hi,” I say authoritatively as to say, “Can you let us in already?”

“Can you get to the back of the line?” She asks me.

Are you kidding me? I don’t even want to be here! But I listen and shamefully tell her we’re on a list (who even has lists nowadays?!) and she let’s us in but not before we have to pay $3 for a mandatory coat check.

Inside it’s a circus. No one is over 20 years old and everyone is either Italian, Asian or wearing some form of pleather jacket. I make a trip to the ladies’ room where all 3 stalls are filled with girls throwing up. We’re leaving. My friend would understand.

I call my brother who tells me to meet him at Nest, the new hotspot du jour. Perfect. We cab it up to 27th street where we encounter another line, another list and another mandatory entrance fee ($15 = reduced). When we finally get upstairs, I feel like I’ve entered the auditorium of my high school. Familiar faces swarm the room of kids who I’ve grown up with but are years younger than me. I feel like I’m at a bad house party. We’re outta here.

On our way home, my boyfriend asks me, “Can you believe those bridge and tunnel crowds?”

Excuse me? I mean sure at Spy but at Nest? Those were my “friends”! Suddenly the kids that I barely knew by name were my brethren. I was their ambassador, their martyr. Bridge and tunnel? No way my friend. Because if they are, what does that make me? The slight question mark that lingered in my mind was quickly extinguished by devout denial as I erupted into the great debate. The poor guy didn't even have a chance.

His case – Bridge and tunnel is a literal meaning of those who cross a bridge or tunnel to enter Manhattan.

My case – Fuck you. I’m not bridge and tunnel. (Ok, I’m from New Jersey but Englewood is so not bridge and tunnel.)

In the end, we agreed to disagree but in retrospect (ie: without 2 bottles of wine in me), I am still a bit at a loss. Are we bridge and tunnel? Sure our wife beaters are C & C and our leather jackets are Prada, but are we simply a refined version of the GWB refugees? The thought is terrifying yet is also revealing that all things are relative. One man's Crobar is another man's Bungalow 8. Well, I guess it just depends on what side of the river you’re coming from.

Final Word: Each one of us may have a little bridge and tunnel, redneck, masshole, hick within us but least here we can roam free, call ourselves New Yorkers and deny, deny, deny.

1 comment:

hot carl edwards said...

ah, yes. the bridge and the tunnel. such a term is a true hot-button in the big apple where a manhattaner uses it with a sharp tongue and a southern dope (ahem) stumbles upon it with a grin and naive use of the noun. you are so right; we are free to wander with or without labels: bridge and tunnel, redneck, masshole, whatever. being from atlanta, i hate the term redneck. it is derogatory and covered with a gross film and yes, i am one. not proudly at all. but i grew up in a large city with trendy spots and urban appeal. however, i can bounce to my aunt's place in griffin, ga and shoot at squirrels and other rodents with a gun in one palm and a miller lite in the other. we are all a little of everything- some good, some bad. let's just hope that in the wandering it is the good that shows it self most. the redneck/bridge and tunnel debates? we'll cross that bridge and tunnel when we cross it again. get it? bridge? tunnel?